Zoom Meeting Privacy Options

The following information provides suggested settings for creating a private Zoom session and steps to reduce the possibility of unwelcome guests joining a meeting or webinar.  

If you experience an unwanted participant or concerning incident using Zoom, please get in touch with ITS at support@swarthmore.edu and let us know.

Update Zoom

Keep your Zoom application up-to-date to take advantage of security and bug fixes.  The Zoom desktop application will provide a pop-up notification when an update is available.  Do not wait to install the update.   

You can manually check for updates in the Zoom desktop application:

Click your profile picture in the app (not in your profile page), then click Check for Updates.

If there is a newer version, Zoom will download and install it.

Setting up your Zoom session securely

Don't Make the Zoom Meeting Information Publicly Available

If the link or phone number for a Zoom meeting is published online, anyone in the world can use that information to join (and possibly disrupt) the meeting.  If "Enable Join Before Host" and "Record the Meeting Automatically" are set, anyone can start your meeting at any time and make recordings.  

You can put the meeting link in a Moodle course, share it via email, or using Google Docs.  Keeping the Zoom meeting information private eliminates most concerns with unwanted attendees.  

Disable "Join Before Host"

The join before host option can be convenient for allowing attendees to carry on with a meeting the host is not able to start. However, with this option enabled, the first attendee who joins the meeting will be made the host automatically with full control over the meeting. We recommend leaving this option disabled. This feature is also a problem if you have auto-recording turned on. Students who click on the link outside of class hours just to test Zoom would create a brief recording each time.
While scheduling a meeting, under Meeting Options, select that the 'Join before host' toggle is turned OFF. See Zoom's Join Before Host help page for more information.

Meeting Passwords

Requiring a password to access a Zoom session is a straightforward way to increase the security of your meeting. You can send your chosen password to your attendees via email or chat, but be sure to remind them not to share the password with others. 
While scheduling a meeting, under Meeting Options, check Require Meeting Password, and then specify a strong password. Participants will be asked for this password in order to join your meeting.

Meeting Security When Scheduling Via Google Calendar

If you add or create a Zoom meeting using Google Calendar or any other calendar, note that the calendar entry may include the meeting password. If your calendar is viewable by others, we recommend making the meeting entry private or editing the details to remove the password.
To change your Google Calendar event privacy settings, while your calendar entry is open in Google Calendar, click Default visibility and choose Private from the dropdown menu, then click Save

Security During a Meeting


"Zoombombing" is when an individual that is not meant to be a part of your meeting gains access to your Zoom session and causes a disturbance. This can include making noise or using offensive language, posting offensive things in the chat, or screen sharing offensive images. If this kind of behavior happens during one of your sessions, please contact support@swarthmore.edu and let us know. There are ways to prevent Zoombombing or to remove individuals who partake in this behavior. The rest of this section details some of those options and settings to help ensure you have safe and productive sessions.

Removing an Unwanted Participant

If you have already begun a session and find an unwanted attendee has joined:
Click Manage Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window. In the Participants panel, click More next to the person you want to remove. From the list that appears, click Remove. The participant is no longer in the Zoom session.

Lock Your Session

You may choose to lock your meeting session once all your attendees have joined using the Zoom Host Controls. When a meeting is locked, no additional users can join, and the host will NOT be alerted if anyone tries to join. 
Click Manage Participants at the bottom of the Zoom window. Click More at the bottom of the Participants panel. From the list that appears, click Lock Meeting.

Changing Sharing Settings

The default screen sharing setting is set to Host Only for all Swarthmore Zoom accounts. This setting means the host is the only one permitted to share their screen during the meeting, which eliminates the possibility that another participant can share offensive content. Hosts still have the ability to allow participants to share their screen during a meeting and edit their default settings to allow participants to share in all meetings. 

To change once in the meeting, click the arrow next to Share Screen. Click Advanced Sharing Options then click the radio button for All Participants.

More Recommendations From Zoom

How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event

Information on this page has been borrowed from the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology at the University of Iowa.

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal: https://support.swarthmore.edu
Email: support@swarthmore.edu
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at https://swatkb.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/remote/overview
Check our homepage at https://swarthmore.edu/its